Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Things I am thankful for.....and Sports Adventures

Thanksgiving, of course, is a time for reflection. Naturally, there are the 'usual' gratitudes: I'm thankful for my three daughters, wonderful husband, my parents (and the fact that I'm so fortunate to still have them), and my work 'family'. But there is another family to which I belong, and to which I am forever grateful. It's a bit of an unusual family; not one of blood ties, certainly (unless you count the Red Sox blood flowing through our veins), but a family whose members gather once a year in Ft. Myers to play baseball at the Sports Adventures Red Sox Fantasy Camp. We all originally went for the same reason, I think...that is, to have an opportunity to 'play' at being a real major league baseball player, if only for a week. But the similarity stops there. Some of us, perhaps, were college baseball players being scouted by the majors, yet a career ending injury destroyed our dream. There have been others who have faced serious illness who have given this gift to themselves to celebrate their recovery. And for a handful of campers, Sports Adventures Red Sox camp has given the opportunity they were denied as young girls growing up in the pre-title IX days. There are almost as many 'stories' as there are campers. But since this post is about gratitude, I will tell you why I am grateful for being a member of this Sports Adventures family. It is a family of kindness; we celebrate the births of children and grandchildren, marriages, retirements and all the good times. We mourn when we lose a member of our Sports Adventure family, and we support each other when we lose a member of our real families. Every year we enroll a few new family members, are happy when they tell us 'this was the best week of my life'. We embrace and tolerate each others differences, quirks, moods, and (sometimes) practical jokes that go awry. We forgive, forget...and then go out and play two.

So, as we go into the holiday season, and we count our blessings, I know that, for a group of us, Larry Marino and his awesome organization will be on our list. And, of course, we're all counting down the days to our next 'family reunion' at the end of January!